Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chinese scientists develop reagent to find out chemical blamed for milk contamination

Chinese scientists on Saturday said they have developed a reagent that could find out melamine, a hazardous chemical blamed for milk contamination, fast and at low cost.

A dose of the reagent will find out melamine within 20 minutes at a cost of 20 yuan , compared with a week and 2,000 yuan by the traditional way that requires professionals using liquid chromatography, according to three professors with the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of Lanzhou University in northwest China.

The university has set up a task team to develop the reagent at the request of the Gansu provincial government.

It was from Gansu that the tainted milk power scandal broke out, when media reported two weeks ago that fourteen babies suffered from kidney stones after drinking milk powder of the same brand.

Prof. Chen Baohua told Xinhua that the color of milk containing melamine would change with the presence of the new reagent.

The new testing method is so simple that dairy farmers are ableto use. The scientists will also make test paper out of the reagent, which would be even cheaper and more convenient for users,said Prof. Zhang Haixia.

Source: Xinhua

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